No. 7 Lewis Men's Volleyball Sweeps Loyola, 37-35, 25-19, 25-20

No. 7 Lewis Men's Volleyball Sweeps Loyola, 37-35, 25-19, 25-20

Romeoville, Ill. - The tone of Saturday's Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association showdown between No. 7 Lewis and No. 12 Loyola was set early, as the Flyers earned a marathon win in the first set and came away with the 37-35, 25-19, 25-20 victory over the visiting Ramblers in front of a raucous crowd of 1,081 at Neil Carey Arena.

While the first set featured 20 tie scores and eight lead changes, Lewis head men's volleyball coach Dan Friend lauded the mentality of his squad.

"Our guys are bringing a high level of composure to the floor," Friend said. "We remained calm in the midst of chaos, and I think that's a sign of us maturing as a team."

With the win, Lewis improves to 8-3 overall and 2-1 in MIVA, while Loyola falls to 6-6 on the campaign and 1-1 in conference play. The victory also snaps a six-match losing streak against the Ramblers.

Lewis juniors Ian Karbiener (Orlando, Fla./Olympia) and Jay Petty (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove North) each led the Flyers with 14 kills, six digs and two block assists apiece. Karbiener hit .407 (14-3-27) for the contest. The Flyer middle hitters of Aaron Flick (North Ridgeville, Ohio/St. Edward) and Matt Gallik (Evergreen Park, Ill./Brother Rice) combined to hit .684 (13-0-19) for the evening. Flick collected seven kills, while Gallik posted six kills in the win. 

As a team, Lewis hit .363 (49-12-102) as a team and totaled 18 block assists to Loyola's 10.

"I thought we played awesome and we came out ready to play," Friend said. "After that battle in the first set, we really stepped up our game offensively in the second game and put on some blocks in the third game."

Friend also commended the performances of sophomore setter B.J. Boldog (Palatine, Ill./Palatine) and junior libero Eric Varney (Oak Park, Calif./Oak Park/Moorpark C.C.). Boldog finished with 35 assists in the three-game match, while Varney posted 16 digs.

"I thought B.J. (Boldog) delivered some nice balls out there tonight, and (Eric) Varney was awesome," Friend said. "He really did a nice job of helping us control the ball and score some points in transition."

Loyola sophomore  Joseph Smalzer topped the Ramblers with 13 kills, while freshman Cody Caldwell and senior Mike Bunting each posted 10 kills in the loss.

Lewis returns to action on Friday (Feb. 17), as the Flyers head to New Jersey to square off with NJIT for a 7 p.m. (EST) first serve .